Burnley Civic Trust Heritage Image Collection

Milk Militants Lobby Council

6 Oct 1971
Town Hall, Manchester Road, Burnley

Media Ref: BE71ng48846
Milk Militants Lobby Council

A group of demonstrators lobbying councillors in front of the town hall before Wednesday's meeting on the 6th October 1971.

Placard-carrying militants, including a mother and her 11-year old daughter, demonstrated outside the town hall while petitions were handed in, signed by more than 1,800 people, calling for the return of free school milk. Petition organisers, the United Socialist Group, and the Burnley branch of the Communist party, were joined by students, supporters, and a deputation from the Women's Industrial Union. They all want the immediate abolition of Education Minister Mrs Margaret Thatcher's Education (Milk) Act. This has stopped the supply of milk to primary schoolchildren aged between seven and eleven. Said Mrs Alice Thornber, USG treasurer, whose daughter, Marie Louise (11) a pupil at Mansfield County Secondary School, accompanied the protesters into the chamber "It's no good just building schools; we want to build healthy children."

Inside the council chamber the free milk issue was immediately raised by Councillor K. McGeorge (Labour), who commented on the decision to send a deputation, consisting of the three political party leaders, Town clerk and education chairman to meet the Education Minister for discussion of the free school milk question. Deputy leader of the Labour group, Councillor E. Hanson, said that the council was unanimous that something was to be done. It was not certain when or if the Minister would agree to meet the deputation but if she did not the council would want to know why.

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